"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" Matthew 5:4

... "mourn" - to express sorrow or grief . . . "blessed" - blissfully happy or contented . . . "comforted"  - to soothe, console or reassure ... this was the "verse of the day" on my cell phone for TODAY - Thanksgiving Day 2011 . . . the first real "holiday" in our "new normal" (not counting mine, Daila's and Ashley Beth's Birthdays - which have all already come and gone - and we survived all 3).  And though we do "mourn", we also do feel "comforted" (beyond human understanding) and "blessed" (more than you can ever know)! 

My reading today in my devotional stated: "Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.  That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.  There is an element of mystery in this transaction:  You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances).  This is a spiritual act of obedience - at times, blind obedience.  To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. . . . . it is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity."

Last night, when I got done blogging, I looked at Tessa's Bible where she had 2 index cards laying, and one of them was Romans 8:38,39, the SAME verses I had read in my devotional and that had spoken to me!!  Just ANOTHER "God thing" again reminding us how HE is watching over all areas of our lives!

This morning, my dad came over and helped me clean out Rick's truck (only a pack-rat will understand what that truly means - or possibly Jim or Tony who worked with Rick every day and KNEW that Rick could not even take a passenger with him in his truck!!).  A little later, Tim and Papa Buck came to help with the same project (God's love surrounding us - AGAIN)! After the cleaning of the truck, I finished up getting dinner made (with the help of the girls & Addie) and Mom & Dad came over and we enjoyed a yummy meal (if I do say so myself!)  Following our meal, we headed over to Gramma & Papa Rye's at half-time of the PACKER game.  We enjoyed spending time over there cheering on our PACKERS on to yet ANOTHER victory (there was only one Lions fan in the house, and she wasn't TOO die-hard)!! - first time EVER the team has gone 11-0 to start the season (and to think, Rick is high-five-ing with Reggie White in HEAVEN!)

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying each other and making plans for the late night shopping trip some of us were taking!! (Taya & Kajsa went with 3 of their cousins - Walmart for 10:00 and then others to follow as they open up!).   (Nick, Ashley & the girls went to Ashley, Brian & Ty's along with their mom & step-dad - they came back late in the afternoon and Nick headed to camp with the guys - so we had a girls night with myself, Tessa, Ashley & their 3 girls!!) 

It was a GOOD day, and in spite of missing Rick, and we all survived it!  GOD IS SO AMAZINGLY GOOD!! :)  I have SO MANY things to be thankful for - among them the fact that I got ALL the thank you cards to date done and have only a small handful that I still need addresses for as well as getting our Christmas cards all set to send out!!

Today, my mom brought me the words to a song that she and my dad have been enjoying by the Gaither Vocal Band and when I read them, it was amazing, because it is a song that could be Rick's own words.  It goes like this:

I then shall live as one who's been forgiven.
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid. 
I know my name is clear before my father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So, greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

Your Kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.

I'm SO THANKFUL for the gift of music and how the lyrics can speak to us. I'm thankful for my wonderful parents and in-laws.  I'm thankful for extended family and the love we share.  I'm thankful that we not only survived the day, but enjoyed it!  I'm thankful to the cousins who love my girls.  I'm thankful that tonight is only the 2nd night I'm sleeping alone  (we initially all slept out in the living room, then Kajsa has been sleeping with me) and I'm not freaking out about it.  I'm thankful for the friends who have invited Tessa to shop with them tomorrow.  I'm thankful for "little people" (grandbabies) who make us laugh and smile, and draw us pictures that say, "I'm thankful for my Grandma's house" and draw a picture of our house filled with all of us (minus her little sister for some reason!!) :)  I'm THANKFUL for God's promises that we ARE blessed and we ARE being comforted and that we have a hope for the future, so though we mourn, it is NOT without HOPE, but with the GREAT PROMISE that has been made:

1 Corinthians 15:54-56

English Standard Version (ESV)
54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

    "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is your victory?
   O death, where is your sting?"

Happy Thanksgiving, what are YOU thankful for today?

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